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Need to boost sound from my laptop - Sound related, but not music related

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Apr 4, 2019 - 12:32:12 PM
486 posts since 4/27/2009

I am an attorney and have a trial coming up in less than two weeks. I have several videos with sound I may need to play in court. The court has a sound system that I just have to plug into. I tried it and it seems to work well, except there are sections where people are speaking very softly and I need to boost the sound. Even when the court system and my laptop are at maximum, I am not getting enough sound.

I am looking at this: https://www.amazon.com/iBoost-800-Stereo-Amplifier-Booster/dp/B00CVDN2O0

If I place a preamp like that above between my laptop and the court sound system, would that work? Any other suggestions?

Thank you.

Edited by - Ernest M on 04/04/2019 12:33:21

Apr 4, 2019 - 12:50:31 PM

14091 posts since 12/2/2005

I would contact a local audio production facility. A good engineer with a good digital system should be able to take your audio file and boost the quiet section. There may be some degradation in overall audio quality, but as long as the voices are clearly audible in the original it should be doable.

Note: I am NOT an attorney, so I have no idea what the rules of discovery related to enhancing an audio file like this would be. YOYO for that part.

Apr 4, 2019 - 1:11:42 PM

486 posts since 4/27/2009

Thanks Skip.

Apr 4, 2019 - 1:58:06 PM

NINJO

USA

779 posts since 5/5/2006

Perhaps import your existing sound file into garage band or whatever audio editing software you have and increase the gain on those portions of audio that need enhancement. But, as Skip advised, just hire someone. I'm sure their hourly rate is less than yours is and they will crank it out.
Note: I'm not an attorney, but I've met a few.

Apr 4, 2019 - 2:10 PM
likes this

486 posts since 4/27/2009

I am sorry to hear you have met a few.

EM

Apr 4, 2019 - 2:23:45 PM

276 posts since 5/30/2016

A good set of powered speakers should do the trick. I got mine at Walmart for around $60. They plug right in to where the headphones would go on your laptop. And they have a volume control on them also. That’s what are use to play my backing tracks when I play the banjo. I never had enough volume until I got my powered speaker. Now I have more than enough.

Apr 4, 2019 - 4:34:30 PM

14091 posts since 12/2/2005

quote:
Originally posted by Mark Cox

A good set of powered speakers should do the trick. I got mine at Walmart for around $60. They plug right in to where the headphones would go on your laptop. And they have a volume control on them also. That’s what are use to play my backing tracks when I play the banjo. I never had enough volume until I got my powered speaker. Now I have more than enough.


More than enough to hear backing tracks in a practice setting, Mark, but according to the OP, this is a courtroom equipped with what one presumes is a decent sound system. The issue is low volume in a segment of the source material. All due respect, but a pair of inexpensive powered speakers when there's important evidence to hear is probably not the solution.

Apr 4, 2019 - 4:52:09 PM

776 posts since 1/25/2017

If it is only a volume issue, and if opposing counsel would stipulate authenticity and admissibility of the modified recording, I would import the video file into iMovie; split the audio track where it needs a boost; and then boost the audio in the segments where it needs it. The soundwave is visible so its fairly easy to see where the boost is needed.
Once I had it where the volume is reasonably constant, I would save it as new video file.

If the opposing side would not stipulate, and if it's important, I would call a videographer to see if they can do and are willing to testify if needed.

Apr 4, 2019 - 6:03:42 PM

68 posts since 11/27/2017

Another option would be to play the output of your video player through a software compressor/normalizer. I use Audio Hijack. This program is normally used to capture the audio output of any program (like a browser or video player) before it leaves the computer, but it also has the ability to do DSP on that output *in real time*, so you could boost a video's audio, compress it, or normalize it as it's playing, without buying extra hardware. The nice thing is that you wouldn't be messing with the original, just changing the signal path inside the computer -- which is cheaper than changing it outside the computer!

Apr 4, 2019 - 7:55:30 PM

486 posts since 4/27/2009

Is there something like Audio Hijack for Windows 10. I could really use a program like that.

And thanks everyone for the suggestions.

Apr 4, 2019 - 8:41:49 PM

10066 posts since 4/15/2012

The simplest solution for a non-expert like yourself would be to purchase a soundbar designed to plug into the headphone jack of a TV set. Many soundbars have a switchable circuit that gives prominence to the spoken human voice, to filter it out from music, static, etc. One affordable option would be the ZVOX AccuVoice 201:

google.com/aclk?sa=L&ai=DChcSE...4B&adurl=

Apr 5, 2019 - 3:00:46 PM

486 posts since 4/27/2009

The solution I came up with was https://www.letasoft.com/sound-booster-download/

It really did make the sound output dramatically better.

Thanks everyone.

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